Fixing Franchises – Evil Dead

Me and a lot of people have really enjoyed the new Evil Dead movie.  It’s gory, got pratical effects, some real tension, etc.  Much like the first movie it really lays down the ground work for more sequels, and I can’t wait for the next one, until then let’s hope Fede Alverez and Sam Raimi read this and we can get the another Dead By Dawn.  

First of let’s define what an Evil Dead movie needs.  First it needs a major protagonist that faces hell, It needs to be really bloody and over the top, and it needs interesting monsters, zombies, whatever. Now then let’s jump right into it.

Less Fan Service

I’m a geek, but I’m a self hating geek. We can be really obnoxious and annoying, and we all know that guy who knows a little too much about a series or franchise. My kryptonite is Scott Pilgrim. But what irritates me is bad fan service.  There’s a way to do it wrong and right. The Wrong way is for the movie to completely stop and then show the audience the icon and resume the movie afterwards. EX. The whole Robin joke at the end of TDKR.  The absolute right way to do fan service is to have it serve the story naturally.  Like the best examples are Johnny Depp’s cameo in 21 Jump Street and Hulk trying to pick up Thor’s Hammer in Avengers, both really cool really well integrated into the story.

The new Evil Dead has a little of both. Some of the references where really clever and overall necessary for telling the story, other times it was a little too much.  The good thing is they got a majority of the references out of the way in this one to the best of my knowledge.  Have the fan service only appeal to real fans of the evil dead and make them hard to notice or spot.  As sad as I am to say it Cabin In The Woods was a lot more clever with it’s evil dead references and to be honest is the best Evil Dead movie ever made.  What should’ve happened was explained that this isn’t a reboot and is in fact a sequel to Evil Dead 2.  Would’ve won a few more points.

Keep Fede Alverez 

Evil Dead did a lot of things right. It has the original producers on the team, fresh young director, no A list actors, a punch up by a oscar winner script writer.  While not all of these elements fit into place, one thing I was very happy about was the director.  Fede did an excellent job getting good performances out his actors, having the movie get a little cheesy and goofy at times, and mostly setting up tension. My absolute favorite thing he did was keep the Movie Rated R, and also Creating some really fucked up iconic imagery.  There’s so many physical gags in here that are new and really fun and scary.  This is obviously somebody to keep an eye out, and congrats to him for his debut making 26 million opening weekend.

But don’t let him write the script

This movies biggest failings come from the script.  Fede once again a very good director, but not a very good writer director.  And to be honest it’s not even a bad script, it’s not sloppy, it’s just a little under written.  If I have any problems with Sir Sam Raimi it’s that his pacing is always a big problem for me.  Fede said “fuck that” and once the movie starts it doesn’t stop.  The issue there is that there’s not a whole lot of character development.  The dialogue is passable, and unfortunately it follows the whole “character gets killed one by one” formula which makes the movie a little formulaic.  Had the characters been more defined and well better characters, then this movie would’ve had a bigger presence, which as of right now it feels more like a straight to DVD movie. A really good straight to DVD movie, but it doesn’t have the cinematic sense we all want out of an evil dead movie.  I think a big part is that Fede’s English isn’t the best, and Diablo Cody barely contributed to the script.

More Humor

Now, a lot of what people forget is that the original Evil Dead was a straight up horror movie.  It had funny moments, wether intentional or not is up to the person.  So I gave this movie a pass on not being super funny, but now I’m looking at the next one to be hilarious and absurd.  This darker tone can work, but it needs to be a black comedy, something that was dipped in this movie but the sequel has to be funny.

Go Full Retard

I want the next Evil Dead movie to be dumb as shit.  I want physical gags, body horror, and  i want it to be absurd.  The end of Cabin in the woods definitely delivered on being absolutely fun and crazy and giving the audience what they want. The next evil Dead needs to go crazy in it’s darkness and realism. It should be a siege movie, with the five characters getting tossed around and barely surviving, and constantly losing more and more limbs, blood, etc. Piranha 3d would be a good point of reference.

Final Thoughts

I really did enjoy this movie. I accept that as a nerd Evil Dead franchise is a little uneven and am not fanatic about it, but honestly this along with Drag Me To Hell and Cabin could play right alongside those original cult classics.  This movie felt more like testing the waters to see where to go next, so i can’t wait to see this franchise reach it’s potential and then meet up with Bruce Campbell and really give me what I want.


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